Radical plans to revive Endurance GB’s international efforts received the overwhelming support of more than 100 riders and crew at an open forum held during the society’s AGM last weekend.
A document, presented by Wendy Dunham, chairman of the international management committee, called for all those involved to “raise their game”. Key issues to be addressed including funding and sponsorship.
Wendy said: “In trying to be democratic in the way we did things [following the formation of Endurance GB] we’ve thrown the baby out with the bath water. We need to raise British endurance to the level it once was.”
The plans include stronger roles for the team vet and chef d’equipe, a smaller selection panel and a new logistics manager to co-ordinate back-up across the squads. There will be a senior squad of about 15 riders, backed up by a senior development squad, with the equivalent for young riders.
Announcing the resignation of team vet Mat Fernandez for personal reasons, Wendy said John Robertson would not be putting himself forward as the team’s logistics manager due to his commitments as an FEI official.
Jane James, Britain’s most consistent team rider of the past decade, said it was crucial that squad horses are not “over-trained or competed at unsuitable rides, so that at the end of the year selectors have few horses to choose from”.